*** ----> MPs Propose Amendments to Social Insurance Law, Seeking to Limit Employer Contributions | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

MPs Propose Amendments to Social Insurance Law, Seeking to Limit Employer Contributions

TDT | Manama     

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Several Members of Parliament (MPs) have submitted a proposal to amend the Social Insurance Law, aiming to limit employer contributions. The proposed amendment would significantly alter the current system, raising questions about its potential impact on both Bahraini and foreign workers.

The proposed amendment introduces several key changes to the Social Insurance Law:

Employers would pay a monthly rate of 3% of Bahraini workers' wages to the Social Insurance Organisation (SIO). This represents a substantial reduction from the current contribution rate, which varies depending on the worker's salary and the industry. Notably, foreign workers would be exempt from these contributions altogether.

Employers would be required to provide medical care for non-Bahraini workers in the event of a work injury. This includes covering the costs of treatment, daily allowances, and injury compensation. MP Mohammed Al-Marafi, an advocate of the proposal, argues that the amendments are justified by the Health Insurance Law of 2018.

This law requires employers to include their workers in health insurance, covering both the worker and their dependents if stipulated in the employment contract. Al-Marafi emphasises that the proposed law would eliminate the need for separate insurance deductions for work-related injuries for expatriate workers, as their medical needs would be covered under the mandatory health insurance.

The proposed amendments have sparked debate, with concerns raised about the potential impact on both Bahraini and foreign workers. Some argue that reducing employer contributions could negatively affect the financial sustainability of the SIO, potentially impacting the benefits available to Bahraini workers in the future. Others worry that exempting foreign workers from social insurance contributions could create a two-tier system, with Bahraini workers receiving more comprehensive benefits.

The proposal also raises questions about the adequacy of the mandatory health insurance to cover work-related injuries for foreign workers. Some argue that relying solely on health insurance may not provide sufficient protection for workers who suffer serious injuries on the job.

The proposed amendments are expected to be discussed and debated further in the coming weeks. It remains to be seen whether the proposal will be adopted in its current form or if modifications will be made to address the concerns raised.